WASHINGTON, September 28, 2023 — Over 1.3 million people in Mozambique’s southern region will benefit from improved water supply and better service delivery capacity, thanks to a new World Bank-funded Urban Water Security Program.
“Access to clean water is a basic human right and essential for Mozambique’s resilient and inclusive development,” noted Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, and Seychelles. “Through this program, the World Bank supports the government’s vision of ensuring that every person in Mozambique benefits from a high‐quality water supply service.”
Financed through a $150 million World Bank International Development Association* (IDA) grant, the program aims to enhance the enabling environment for private sector participation in the country’s water provision, promote sustainable and climate-resilient service delivery, and foster better and more efficient water distribution services. It will cover selected cities of the Greater Maputo Metropolitan area and the southern region, benefitting nearly 1.3 million people.
“The program will combine investments in infrastructure development and an expansion of services with investments and incentives to improve service performance,” added Pierre Francois-Xavier Boulenger, World Bank Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist.
A greater emphasis on performance improvement will contribute to increasing both the technical and financial sustainability of the water supply operations. It will also support water utilities to improve their creditworthiness and capacity to diversify financing sources, including private capital, which is needed to accelerate the expansion of access to safely managed water supply services.
Mozambique’s southern region is one of the driest in the country. Frequent droughts, exacerbated by climate change, reduce water availability and lead to water supply restrictions. To address this challenge, the project will support investments to mobilize and treat additional water from complementary sources, reducing the dependency on single sources and increasing the climate resilience of water supply operations in selected cities.
“The program will help service providers expand and improve water supply services to keep up with the annual 4.4%urban population growth. On the one hand, it will invest in securing the availability of quality water at the sources to withstand more frequent and severe droughts. On the other, it will focus on key investments to improve the quality of services delivered,” added Jaime Palalane, World Bank Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist.
The program is part of the Government of Mozambique’s $3.1 billion Investment Program for Sustainable, Inclusive, and Resilient Urban Water Services in Mozambique (2022–2032).
*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $496 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $34.7 billion over the last three years (FY20-FY22), with about 70 percent going to Africa.